What April was and what May may be.

I have a hangover today. I blame the rum. There’s always rum. It was good to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. There’s six of us, three couples and we all love to cook, so there is always plenty of food. My friend Steve, whose house we went to yesterday, has his own pizza oven, so plenty of handmade pizzas were devoured and beers drank and the world was put to rights for an evening. Good for the soul. But I am paying for it today, so if this blog is incoherent in places, you know why.

Anyway, lets talk books!

Aprils reads…

April was a quietish month for reading, I finished three books and currently finishing another. First up was the Grey Bastards by Jonathan French, recommended to me by some of the folks over at Before We Go Blog. I think I was about a quarter of the way through on my last blog and finished this mid-April. You can find my review here but this was such a great book and a much needed pick-me-up that I needed at the time. Its full of filthy humour and witty dialogue which contrasts well with the often dark themes and unforgiving world the characters inhabit. I will definitely read the second book in The Lots trilogy, but the way my TBR is at the minute, it could be sometime down the line.

The second book I finished last month was part of a buddy read with some of the guys over at The SFF Oasis and that was Illborn by Daniel T Jackson. If you haven’t read my review of that you can find it here. This is Daniel’s debut published novel and what a debut it is. Confident, assured and brimming with ideas and complex characters, I had a blast with this one. It’s testament to a writer’s skill when they can keep you invested in characters you really don’t like and I had a problem with one of the main pov characters. The character of Allana definitely had some attention during our discussions during the buddy read and her motivations and self-serving actions made her hard to sympathise with. But, you wanted to know what happened to her, you needed to know. Daniel kept me invested in her arc despite my feelings towards her actions and thoughts. Bravo.

My third book for April, which I am currently still reading, is Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio. Now, this book and the series it begins, The Sun Eater, has had critical acclaim and many of the bloggers and booktubers I follow have showered praise over it. They weren’t wrong. I am nearly finished, maybe 150 pages from the end, and it has been nothing short of spectacular. Written from the point of view of the man character, Hadrian, the prose has been compared to The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and I definitely see that for sure. Hadrian is regaling his story from the future, so he knows everything that is to come, which can make for some fantastic reading in terms of propulsive story-telling, his reliability telling his own story and the nuggets of information on things to come. I shall save the rest of my thoughts for my review, but its safe to say this is best sci-fi book I have read in a long time.

On to May…

Let’s take a look at my May TBR and what’s in store for me!

Them some damn fine looking covers there don’t you think? Now, this TBR may spill over into June as my podcast schedule this month is pretty heavy, but we shall see as most of these books aren’t actually too chonky, so I am hoping to devour them all relatively easily. Burn Red Skies by Kerstin Espinosa Rosero is my first book of May, I have heard fantastic stuff about it and her book was a finalist at #SPFBO7 so I am very keen to get on this quickly. Then I shall see where the mood takes me with the order of the rest of them and let my feelings do the work. Justice of Kings has been on my radar for months so looking forward to that one and A Memory Called Empire has also been in my TBR since last year. My favourite type of science fiction is speculative, thoughtful and deep. Memory Called Empire seems to fall into those categories.

And, of course, I will drop reviews of them as close to finishing them as possible. The way I read and the way I review and write is constantly changing and evolving so I can find the most comfortable and productive way of blogging and reviewing. Any feedback is always welcome.

Back on the podcasting horse

After taking a forced break from podcasting due to covid, April has been a busy month for me. Star Trek Picard returned for season two which meant that Make It So: A Star Trek Picard podcast was in full production. Myself and my co-host Kurt have been discussing each episode with a variety of guests which has been hugely rewarding. If you are a fan of the show or Star Trek in general, check out our podcast here or search for Make It So on whichever platform you listen to your podcasts on. I think this season has been a huge improvement from season one in terms of pacing and writing and it’s also been fun, which I think was lacking in S1.

I have also done some recordings for a Babylon 5 podcast I co-host with my friend Baz Greenland and we are currently releasing episodes on a monthly basis discussing the wider themes and concepts of the show, character studies and we also have an exclusive interview with Patricia Tallman who played telepath Lyta Alexander on the show. If you are a fan of Babylon 5 we would love you to come listen and join us on our journey. From February next year, which will be the 30th anniversary of the Babylon 5, we will be releasing fortnightly episodes analysing and discussing every episode of the 5 year arc and I can not wait for that!

Starting this month, production of my podcast Observing the Pattern: A Fringe podcast, begins at last. Its been delayed a few times due to health issues, but I am both relieved and excited that our season four coverage will start releasing from 28th May. If you are a fan of the J. J. Abrams science fiction show Fringe and fancy an episode by episode analysis, then Observing the Pattern is the podcast for you. I also have interviewed actor Michael Ceveris who played the Observer and also composer Chris Tilton and you can find all the episodes here.

So between all my May reading and podcasting I might get some sleep, I might not, but I do this because I love putting content out there, I love discussing fantasy and science fiction with my friends and fellow bloggers and vloggers. The book community and podcast community are the best and the most supportive so a huge thank you to everyone who has shared, liked, retweeted my content, it is hugely appreciated.

Until next time…revel in the destruction of your TBR.

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